I really need to get cracking on looking at apartments. I know I won't find one if I don't get on it! Yesterday some colleagues who share a big flat nearby had a party, a barbecue in the rain as we got the tail end of a typhoon that hit further south. Nonetheless it was great to eat some grilled steak and have a few laughs over playing Dance Dance Revolution and Skattegories. These friends have a great view of the skyline as well as planes coming in and taking off from Hongqiao Airport. I felt right at home...I almost forgot. One of the funniest moments was after a friend had brought a few chicken feet along with wings for the grill, another American colleague attacked the chicken foot with vigor and seemed to be really getting into it!

One of the oddities of being an expat is the lingo that arises in the new environment. A word that has arisen among my network of native English speakers, beyond mouthfulls of unpublishable expletives, is "chillax" although I have yet to see it written out, the combination of admonishments to friends to both chill out and relax. One of my friends has adopted a lot of black-American jive into her English because she is engaged to an African-American, which has also worked its way into the social network of English spoken around here. "True-dat" comes to mind.

Random tidbits: yesterday my landlord and I were comparing the price of car fuel for the lowest grade gas. It is nearly the same in China and the US with US prices edging just slightly higher than China's.


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